Forest Park board fills vacancy
CRYSTAL FALLS—Forest Park’s School Board is back to full membership with the appointment of Mike Bjork, who has been named to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Don Peterson.
Bjork answered prepared questions from board members at the start of the district’s Feb. 26 regular meeting and then was sworn in.
A Forest Park grad, Bjork is retired after a 35-year career with the Central Intelligence Agency. While stationed overseas for 24 years, he was part of school boards serving American communities in Burma, Nepal and Turkey.
“I could not wait to get back to Iron County,” he said, so he use his knowledge to help the county. Bjork serves as vice president of the Iron County Economic Chamber Alliance and is also a member of the Mastodon Township Board.
Bjork said his priorities on the board will be providing skills and opportunities for local kids so they can stay here after graduation, whether they are vocational or college-bound.
“There aren’t a lot of opportunities in the county for kids to stay,” he said, “and we need to provide those opportunities and also give them an option in the future to come back.”
With experience in running major training programs for the government, Bjork said he has background in many topics. His style, he said, is that he likes to work towards building a consensus.
He also mentioned youth problems identified in a recent Communities That Care survey, emphasizing the role of teachers in helping identify the root causes.
“One thing about teachers is,” he noted, “they have the kids eight hours a day. We know up here there’s a lot of work, so we have a strong influence. Even though we’re not social workers, to a degree we really are.”